In this letter, Nickerson thanks Gen. Pickering for his support and explains why he believes the Army is the best service branch to develop ballistic missiles. He also discusses the need for missiles in case of war with the Soviet Union. Nickerson was a staff officer at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal assigned to work on the Jupiter, the United States' first mid-range ballistic missile. He was arrested and court martialed for espionage in 1957 after releasing sensitive documents about the United States missile program to the press. At the time, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson granted the Air Force sole authority to develop intermediate range ballistic missile systems. Nickerson disagreed with this policy, and in response, leaked documents that demonstrated the superiority of Army missiles compared to those developed by the Air Force. He eventually pled guilty to lesser charges and was suspended from the Army for one year and was fined $1,500. Dr. Wernher von Braun was among those who testified on Nickerson's behalf.